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A Broken SpiritA Broken Spirit
by Alan Smith

The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts. (Isaiah 57:15)

    I have heard that there is a monastery in Greece perched high on a cliff, several hundred feet in the air. The only way to reach the monastery is to be suspended in a basket which is pulled to the top by several monks who pull and tug with all their strength. Obviously the ride up the steep cliff in that basket is terrifying.

One tourist got exceedingly nervous about half-way up as he noticed that the rope by which he was suspended was old and frayed. With a trembling voice he asked the monk who was riding with him in the basket how often they changed the rope.

The monk thought for a moment and answered serenely: “Whenever it breaks.”

God operates the same way in our lives.
    We are shocked that someone would wait that long before changing the rope. It only makes sense that the rope ought to be changed long before reaching the breaking point. But it dawned on me that God operates the same way in our lives. If we were to ask God when He will change our lives, His answer might well be, “Whenever you break!”

    You see, our lives can only change once we have what the Bible refers to as a “broken spirit.” As long as we remain arrogant and determined to do things our way, God can’t shape us and mold us. Like a wild stallion, we remain useless until we are “broken.”

The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

    Father, I so often want to stubbornly do things my way. Help me as I strive to have a broken spirit, recognizing my shortcomings, and humbly willing to listen to Your instruction. In Jesus’ name, amen.

      © 2002, Alan Smith. Used by permission. This devotional was reprinted from Thought for the Day.

      Title: "A Broken Spirit"
      Author: Alan Smith
      Publication Date: March 9, 2002

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Alan Smith ministers with the Church of Christ in White House, Tennessee and publishes the email devotional "Thought for the Day."


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